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Topic # 70688 28-Oct-2010 22:49
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I recently got a PS3, Onkyo amp, and Wharfedale speakers, and a cheapish low/wide cabinet from Harvey Norman to put it in. The cabinet also has a cable modem, cable box, and will have a DVD player in it too. It gets quite warm, and I think I need to cool it.

In the US there's home theatre cooling systems you can get quite cheaply, with a thermostat and variable speed fans. You can order them from ebay, such as this store. I can't find anything like that in NZ... but they probably exist. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Otherwise I figure two of these fans would do the job. A little 12V power supply and a hole cut in the back panel of the home theatre unit would probably do the job. I don't have thermostat control though, so i'd have to turn them on and off manually, and wire it in myself, which would end up being ugly.




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  Reply # 397085 28-Oct-2010 23:01
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Is there a switced outlet on your amp that you could use for the 12v power supply?

The other stuff should be minimal when its not being used for gaming etc, and the amp will be on for that normally anyway

couple of 120mm case fans and an old 9-12v wallwart should see you right for minimal outlay.




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  Reply # 397088 28-Oct-2010 23:05
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you could always use an externally (outside house) mounted shower extractor fan unit and some ducting to the entertainment unit... thats something i'm considering




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  Reply # 397092 28-Oct-2010 23:09
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And if you don't have an actual outlet on the back of your reciver, maybe there would be a 12v outlet which you could connect to a mains switching relay.

And if all else fails, power your amp through one of these:

http://jaycar.co.nz/productView.asp?ID=MS6146&keywords=MS6146&form=KEYWORD

and have the fan connected via mains as richms suggested, but connected via a double adapter. When this plug detects the amp has gone into standby, it cuts the power (so both the amp & fan)

You program the switch to power back on when it receives your amps power on ir signal.

edit: actually don't know if the standby switch would work - depends if it wold see the fan as being above standby use.



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  Reply # 397093 28-Oct-2010 23:11
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I don't think the amp has any power outputs, its power supply's internal.

It's the amp and the PS3 that need cooling, the rest is fine. I think anything involving outside air would be overkill for my system. A couple of fans will do fine, I was just hoping for a thermostatically controlled unit so I don't have to turn it on and off.

I could whip something up easily enough with two 140mm case fans (bigger = more airflow and quieter) and a small power supply, but it'd be a little inelegant. I just wondered if there was a better way.




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  Reply # 397095 28-Oct-2010 23:13
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JonnyCam: And if you don't have an actual outlet on the back of your reciver, maybe there would be a 12v outlet which you could connect to a mains switching relay.

And if all else fails, power your amp through one of these:

http://jaycar.co.nz/productView.asp?ID=MS6146&keywords=MS6146&form=KEYWORD

and have the fan connected via mains as richms suggested, but connected via a double adapter. When this plug detects the amp has gone into standby, it cuts the power (so both the amp & fan)

You program the switch to power back on when it receives your amps power on ir signal.



Nice idea! Jaycar has a simple thermostat too :)




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  Reply # 397097 28-Oct-2010 23:24
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When I had a MDF based cabinet with thick hollow shelves, I was toying with the idea of putting a fan in the shelf between them, with just some slots cut on the top one.

Thank god that ugly fake wood cabinet is no more tho, and I have an open one for when I redeploy the home theater.




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  Reply # 397099 28-Oct-2010 23:30
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Jaycar has a simple thermostat too :)


Yeah, but that thermostat turns off when it gets to a certain temp, not on.

You'd have to modify it - but if you can solder. you could build one of these.

http://jaycar.co.nz/productView.asp?ID=KC5476&keywords=KC5476&form=KEYWORD

I've had a look at one for another project. Will switch at whatever reference temp you set it for. (above or below, depending on how it's set)




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  Reply # 397105 28-Oct-2010 23:44
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Good points and ideas guys. One of the eBay premade systems is sounding pretty easy right now, if they'll ship here. Otherwise I'll diy, the sub needs to be switched off at night anyway so an extra thing won't matter.




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  Reply # 397157 29-Oct-2010 08:38
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Yeah I always rip the rear panel off shelves etc to try and get some air flow out of the shelves inside.  They always come standard with these little tiny openings for cables etc.

Not sure if it helps, but Jaycar do a laptop cooling stand, which is USB powered.  It's cheap and usb powered, so only comes on when the PS3 starts up.  Just remove the fan from the case and install it somewhere on your cabinet. The fan is large and fairly silent I believe.

http://jaycar.co.nz/productView.asp?ID=XC5210&keywords=laptop+cooling&form=KEYWORD



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  Reply # 397178 29-Oct-2010 09:29
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Thanks for the suggestion, but i'd probably go with a 140mm PC fan over that. It looks like a unit with two fans and a thermostat from the US would be about $150 shipped, that might be a reasonable option.




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  Reply # 397188 29-Oct-2010 09:54
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timmmay: I don't think the amp has any power outputs, its power supply's internal.

It's the amp and the PS3 that need cooling, the rest is fine. I think anything involving outside air would be overkill for my system. A couple of fans will do fine, I was just hoping for a thermostatically controlled unit so I don't have to turn it on and off.


I could whip something up easily enough with two 140mm case fans (bigger = more airflow and quieter) and a small power supply, but it'd be a little inelegant. I just wondered if there was a better way.


You may find that the case fans get quite noisy, especially two of them running - they start "thrumming" as the speeds are not identical - like a beat pattern.

two 12v fans in series, running from 12v, will be a lot quieter, and still will give you the air flow required.

 




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  Reply # 397193 29-Oct-2010 10:00
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Consider a PC fan controller bus combined with a simple power supply like the one in this package which inputs 100-240v and outputs 12v and 5v DC via a molex connector -

http://www.justlaptops.net.nz/product/37/

You might have to pay a bit more for a fan controller that can kick-in at a certain temperature, but at least thermal monitoring is a fairly standard feature (with probes you can place in strategic places). You would also have to find somewhere to mount a controller and their bright LCDs aren't really suitable for the application you want it for. One that can disable the backlighting would be needed (or one with no display at all). Mounting it on the rear or side of the cabinet would place it out of sight easily enough.

The problem with simply hooking up your fans to a 12v source is noise. Not only turbine noise, but DC clicking noise. A fan controller which can dial the speed up and down will allow you to set the tone at what you are comfortable with and will allow for different speeds for the peak of summer and the depths of winter. At the very least, you'll be wanting some kind of throttle control. Very few fans are ideal at 12 volts.



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  Reply # 397196 29-Oct-2010 10:03
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The computer case fans i'm considering are 18db, which is too quiet to hear over a tv, especially if they're not at max speed - though i'm not sure how to control that - voltage I guess. The thrumming could be an issue though.

It's been a long time since I did electronics at uni, but two 12V fans in series will effectively get 6V each right? In parallel they'd both get the full 12V. 6V to a 12V fan would make it run pretty slowly.

The guy on ebay seems to have a specialist store and 100% positive feedback on 2000 sales... I figure his stuff should be decent enough, and variable speed too.




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  Reply # 397197 29-Oct-2010 10:05
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fahrenheit: Consider a PC fan controller bus combined with a simple power supply like the one in this package which inputs 100-240v and outputs 12v and 5v DC via a molex connector -

http://www.justlaptops.net.nz/product/37/

You might have to pay a bit more for a fan controller that can kick-in at a certain temperature, but at least thermal monitoring is a fairly standard feature (with probes you can place in strategic places). You would also have to find somewhere to mount a controller and their bright LCDs aren't really suitable for the application you want it for. One that can disable the backlighting would be needed (or one with no display at all). Mounting it on the rear or side of the cabinet would place it out of sight easily enough.

The problem with simply hooking up your fans to a 12v source is noise. Not only turbine noise, but DC clicking noise. A fan controller which can dial the speed up and down will allow you to set the tone at what you are comfortable with and will allow for different speeds for the peak of summer and the depths of winter. At the very least, you'll be wanting some kind of throttle control. Very few fans are ideal at 12 volts.


That link is to an IDE/USB adapter, but I get your idea about noise, controllers, etc.

The pre-made kit is sounding better and better, it'd avoid most of the problems mentioned.




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  Reply # 397200 29-Oct-2010 10:18
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timmmay: The computer case fans i'm considering are 18db, which is too quiet to hear over a tv, especially if they're not at max speed - though i'm not sure how to control that - voltage I guess. The thrumming could be an issue though.

It's been a long time since I did electronics at uni, but two 12V fans in series will effectively get 6V each right? In parallel they'd both get the full 12V. 6V to a 12V fan would make it run pretty slowly.

The guy on ebay seems to have a specialist store and 100% positive feedback on 2000 sales... I figure his stuff should be decent enough, and variable speed too.


The fans will be noisy at full speed, not just the fans thenselves, but even the air movment can be distracting.

6v to a 12v fan will make it run slowly, but not at half speed, more like 2/3rds speed. But with two of them, it will be adequate for your requirements. Have gone thru this process myself, but using a switched (4.5v/6v/7.5v/9v/12v) DC PSU from Jaycar / Dick Smith ( no longer available by the looks of it), and using the 4.5 v setting - the outputs  tend to be a bit higher than the labelled voltage.

I also found that the thin chipboard that the fans were mounted on also "thrummed", so that needed a bit of extra bracing and a goodly amound of sealant to bed the fans to the chipboard.




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